For my 3.5-week trip through Europe this month, I look along my trusty three-year-old ASUS Android tablet and my brand-new Lenovo Windows 8.1 ultrabook, one of their Yoga models. The Yoga has three input devices, and none of them is just right for me:
- Trackpad (its built-in buttons are insufficiently responsive for my needs, and scrolling occurs even though I turned it off)
- Pointing stick (I never got the handle of it, but then I never figured out 3D mice, either)
- Touchscreen (user interface elements are too tiny with 1920x1080 resolution on a 12" screen, and so not easy to touch)
(For the record, I found that the Lenovo handily replaces the ASUS, even though it has half the battery life, but this is overcome by the Lenovo keyboard, which is so superior.)
Finding the Right Travel Mouse
I decided I also needed a mouse, because still too often a mouse does what trackpads, pointing sticks, and touchscreens cannot. I wanted the following specs:
- Bluetooth: the Yoga has just two USB ports, and I did not want one of them taken up by the transmitter most wireless mice employ. Another drawback to wireless receivers is that they stick out, and so can get snagged on stuff. Connecting with a Bluetooth device is not a problem for the Yoga (as it has been on other computers), as it connects to Bluetooth mice as fast as with wireless receivers.
- Side-scroller, as well as roller wheel: I need the side-to-side movement for rapidly working my way through InDesign documents.
- Slim build: so that the mouse takes up little room in the carrying case.
In Hamburg, I went to the Saturn store (Germany's BestBuy) next to the main train station (Hbf). In that five-story electronics superstore, I found just one mouse to fit my specs. And in only one color, black.
(It seems to me that this chain of store is now carrying less stock -- and fewer interesting items -- than what I experienced during my visits in years previous. Much of the computer floor is today taken up with brand-specific mini-stores, which could explain the dearth of variety. Anyhow, mini rant over.)
And so that's I ended up with Logitech's M557 mouse. It has one new feature: a Windows-logo'ed button meant to mimic the new Windows button found on on newer tablets. Fortunately, the button can be reprogrammed. Little did I know how much programming would be required.
Bringing Back the Double-Click
When I install a new mouse, the first thing I do is program Double-Click to one of the buttons. But this mouse's version of the Logitech SetPoint utility software excluded the option. Wha'? There were all kinds of operations I could bind to buttons, but not Double-Click.
Logitech had removed it. Fortunately, geeks on the interwebs figured out how to add it back in. It turns out that Setpoint reads an XML file to determine the options available to a mouse. I could return the double-click by editing the file.
(An alternative method is to install an older version of Setpoint; I did not try this option as I read that newer mice don't work with older Setpoints.)
On a Logitech forum, users began last December venting their dismay at the loss of double-click. Logitech staff were unhelpful. See http://forums.logitech.com/t5/Mice-and-Pointing-Devices/Setpoint-quot-Double-Click-quot-option-doesn-t-work-anymore/td-p/1150213.
But then in June, customer JaTeK figured out the solution. I implemented it, and it works. Here is what he wrote:
I've found workaround. In the configuration file located in the folder:
You can change assignment for the key of interest, like this:
<Button Number="3" Name="3">
<Param IconLoc="" Type=""/>
<Param Button="3" EventType="16777216" FirstRepeatDelay="0" RepeatDelay="0" Silent="0" Type="0"/>
<TriggerState Name="ButtonDownUp" HandlerSet="DoubleClick">
After that, you need reboot computer or restart SetPoint and have fun with your favorite double-click!
It works, because Logitech's programmers didn't remove the functionality, but only hid it. Thank you very much, because old version of SetPoint doesn't work properly with the new modern M557 Logitech mouse.
And this is why I have come to hate upgrades: loss of productive functionality.